Can I Get Compensation for Injuries Sustained during a Prank?

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Although some people might argue that pranks are childish, the truth is that pranks have a long history. History shows that people have been playing jokes on each other for a very long time.

Today, pranks are a hot topic on Tik Tok, YouTube, and Instagram. These pranks can be as simple as putting parcels filled with glitter on someone’s door. In extreme cases, some act like they’re going to harm someone to panic them. 

Even though many of these pranks have the best of intentions, things can sometimes get out of hand. That leaves a very important question though. What happens if a person is hurt during a prank? 

If you have been hurt during a prank or you have been wondering along these lines, read on to find out. 

Yes, you can file a personal injury lawsuit. The person who pulled the prank may be held financially responsible for your victim’s injuries if they were caused by the hoax and resulted in financial losses.

However, sometimes it’s hard to tell who should pay for the victim’s medical bills when a prank goes wrong. In most cases, liability depends on the idea of neglect. 

An act of negligence occurs when one party causes harm to another by doing something (or failing to do something) that could reasonably be expected to cause harm. Usually, you may need the help of personal injury lawyers to prove that the prankster is liable for your injuries.  

For instance, if the victim intentionally chooses to take part in pranks before they get hurt, their injuries may be the result of their negligence. 

In these kinds of circumstances, victims may not be able to receive compensation. On the other hand, victims who were not in on the joke may have grounds for a personal injury claim against the prankster.

What Kinds Of Behavior Can Give Rise To Personal Injury Lawsuits?

To decide whether a person is liable in a personal injury case, personal injury lawyers will consider the following elements:

Duty of care

Everyone owes people around them a duty of care. The duty of care means that it is your responsibility to avoid doing anything that could put other people in danger.

No one is exempt from this responsibility for the welfare of others, even if these people are complete strangers. 

Someone may believe it’s a good idea to play a prank by leaving a pool of soapy water in the supermarket’s restroom. Does the individual who spilled the soap have any responsibility to the people who use the bathroom, most of whom are strangers to them? 

Yes, because a duty of care would be triggered by the deliberate act of pouring the soap in a way that would affect others. Under personal injury law, the duty of care holds whether they are strangers or not.

Causation

To recover damages under personal injury law, your personal injury lawyer must show that the prankster was responsible for bringing about those damages. 

For instance, imagine someone jumping in front of you while you were distracted by your phone. Due to the distraction, you tripped on a bowl in front of you and fell. Of course, the prank might have caused you a shock. 

However, the prankster can argue that your personal injury was caused by your distraction and not the prank. Suppose you weren’t occupied with your phone; you probably would have avoided the bucket. In such circumstances, you may not get compensation for your personal injury case.

To avoid losing your personal injury case, you should consider consulting personal injury lawyers to understand your options.  

Injury

To get compensation, the prank must have caused some physical harm either as an injury or property damage. Understandably, being the target of a prank would leave you feeling humiliated, especially if it happened in front of others. 

However, you cannot get compensation for shame or humiliation. The goal of personal injury lawsuits is to put the injured party back in the same financial position they would have been if the incident did not occur.

If you are wounded but don’t incur any costs as a result (like lost pay or medical bills), you probably won’t be able to sue for compensation.

In a personal injury case, you can sue for the following injuries including but not limited to the following:

  • The provision of medical care, including consultations with medical professionals, hospitalization, the administration of prescribed drugs, the performance of diagnostic procedures (such as X-rays), and similar measures.
  • If you were unable to work during your recuperation period or if you were left with an illness or impairment that will prohibit you from working in the future, you may be entitled to compensation for your lost wages and/or lost earning capability.
  • Treatments for the injury that are still ongoing
  • Discomfort, either physical or mental
  • If you are a family member of someone who died in an accident, you may have a case for wrongful death.

Gross negligence

If the prankster engaged in wanton behavior in which they showed no regard for the well-being of other individuals, the victim could file a personal injury lawsuit against the prankster for gross negligence.

Gross negligence means the prankster behaved in a way that no other reasonable and cautious person would have behaved under the same conditions.

In addition to the compensation for the harm caused by the offender’s gross negligence, the court might ask them to pay punitive damages.

Free Hacker Scammer illustration and picture

Image Source: Pixabay

Fraud

Some pranks can be so nasty that they constitute an act of fraud or a breach of a contract. 

An excellent illustration of this kind of scenario occurred in 2002 when a waitress at Hooters won a sales contest guaranteeing the winner a “Toyota” as the prize.

Instead, she was given a hoax gift of a “toy Yoda” doll as a gag gift, and she then sued the corporation for a settlement that would allow her to choose the Toyota that best suited her needs.

Harassment

Suppose the prank made the victim feel threatened, terrified, or as though they were at risk of suffering a bodily injury. Then, the victim has the legal right to file a harassment claim against the person who played the hoax. 

If a prank causes mental or emotional damage, the victim has the legal right to file a personal injury claim for emotional injuries, even if there are no physical injuries.

Conclusion 

Pranks, especially those involving a stranger, can lead to legal issues. Consider speaking with personal injury lawyers if you or your property were damaged or harmed as a result of someone else’s idea of a prank. 

The person’s conduct may give rise to a claim for damages in a civil or personal injury lawsuit. As the criminal case against the prankster progresses, you can file a civil suit for compensation for your losses.

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